I'm not completely sure why, but I connect well with and remember things better in threes. I think it started with collecting objects/props in threes - as activity equipment and juggling tools.
At the moment I'm working through the book, Teaching Online: A Practical Guide (3rd ed.) by Susan Ko and Steve Rossen (I'm interested in teaching online - especially, learning how to create continuing education online courses for adventure educators). In one of the initial chapters the authors tell us that when teaching online you must continuously review your course design and content, reflect on the effectiveness of the design and content (Is it doing what you want it to do?), and revise the design and content if it's not working for you or your students.
I realized right away that this is a nice processing model as well. In my simple world I see processing as a noun - it is a time when the facilitator and participants get together to create a space for talking about recent events. The verbs include:
Review - participants simply state what they remember about the current event. I like to ask, "If we were watching a video of the last activity tell me what you would see and hear." Or, "What do you remember seeing and hearing during the last activity?" (Trying to leave out opinion at this stage.) (Note: Roger Greenaway uses the term "reviewing" as the noun for bring participants together to talk. Check out his comprehensive Reviewing Website in the topic.)
Reflect - Here we think and talk about the meaning of what was seen or heard. Topics can be participant generated or facilitator generated. Why was there a lot of laughing? What were some of the reasons for talking loudly? Or, talking at the same time? Why do you think you divided yourselves into two groups? What grade would you give your overall teamwork? What behaviors lead to the grade? Here is the place for opinions, assumptions, and feelings. All good things to talk about.
Revise - After reflecting we can think and talk about how we might want to change - add behaviors that are missing and try to reduce/eliminate behaviors that are not useful. What can we do to get a better grade on our teamwork? What can help us get along better during the next activity? How would taking turns to speak help us out? What do we need to be the best we can be at this time?
This basic approach is not completely novel - it's a simplified version of a large body of work on processing. It's fairly synonymous with the, What? So What? Now What? approach from Outward Bound. The 3-Rs really give me a clearer picture of the steps I like to take during a processing session.
What other "simple" models are out there for processing? Please comment below.
All the best,
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.